Kawartha Butter tart factory

There's a butter tart factory in Ontario and they make more than a dozen flavours

It's no secret. Toronto has got the hots for butter tarts. But the fever isn't just a local one. 

Across the province, the veneration of the sweet, sticky delicacy is impossible to miss, and in one Ontario town, they have taken the production of butter tarts to the next level.

Operating out of an industrial-scale bakery in Peterborough, the Kawartha Buttertart Factory is an appropriately named command post for the province's favourite treat. 

With a second location in the Douro Township of Peterborough County, the Buttertart Factory stocks as many as a dozen flavours of tarts at a time, selling them by the thousands on a weekly basis. 

"It's like pecan pie in the States, or poutine in Quebec," the store's owner, Cathy Smith, told blogTO. "Butter tarts are the Ontario thing, and when I first bought [the bakery], I didn't realize how big the butter tart world really was."

With cottagers from the GTA passing through the Kawarthas, summertime is the Buttertart Factory's peak season, and the demand for their goods is astronomical. 

Calculating their average output in a single week in July, Smith estimated that both locations sell a total of about 1,350 dozen tarts. For all of us non-bakers, that's a staggering tally of 16,000. 

"It's hard work," Smith said, "we work our butts off all summer." 

To meet this crushing demand, the team has to pump out at least 150 dozen tarts a day, but the supply never lasts long. By the time Saturday rolls around, their racks are barren, Smith said. 

Part of what keeps customers coming back is the variety of tarts. Classic flavours like raisin and pecan remain on the menu year round, but more imaginative options like crispy coffee, apple crumble, and brownie delight are rotated through to keep things interesting 

Constantly experimenting with new flavours, like maple bacon, the shop also does seasonal features like christmas turtle, pumpkin, and easter cream egg. 

Smith said that she has seen at least 25 different iterations of the tart in her time as the owner. Still, no tart has been able to surpass the "steadfast" original in terms of popularity.

Unfortunately for us city dwellers, Smith's team is so busy keeping their own shelves stocked with butter tarts that supplying in Toronto isn't something they are pursuing right now. 

If you are looking to get a taste of what their tarts are all about, your best bet is to go see for yourself, and you get a road trip through the Kawarthas as a bonus. 

Lead photo by

Kawartha Buttertart Factory


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